A Brief History of Flowers in Western Art
-Mudd Club, #20 Coat Check Stub.
-Mudd Club Ticket, #24451.
The place to be if you lived downtown in the late 70's, early 80's. I was a semi-regular there and how I came by these tickets is still unclear to me. They had a strict door policy and I knew plenty of the right people, which guaranteed I'd get in, so why these were even necessary, I don't know. In order to secure the space for the Mudd Club Steve Mass described it as a cabaret. Mass claimed to have started the nightclub on a budget of only $15,000. Sexy, edgy, queer and everything else. Keith Haring curated a rotating gallery on the fourth floor. Lots of great music and an awesome dj Anita Sarko. As it became more well known and part of the regular routine of night clubs, a door policy was established and it acquired an elitist reputation. This is probably when they started issuing these tickets. A piece of New York City history. Talking Heads, Debbie Harry, Ross Bleckner, John Sex, Anna Sui, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lydia Lunch, John Lurie, Nona Hendryx, Klaus Nomi, The Contortions, Lou Reed, Johnny Dynell, Andy Warhol, The Ramones, David Bowie, Bush Tetras, Three Teens Kill Four
Publisher: Mudd Club, NYC
Private Collection, Japan
Obsessed with celebrity, consumer culture, and mechanical (re)production, Pop artist Andy Warhol created some of the most iconic images of the 20th century. As famous for his quips as for his art—he variously mused that “art is what you can get away with” and “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes”—Warhol drew widely from popular culture and everyday subject matter, creating works like his 32 Campbell's Soup Cans (1962), Brillo pad box sculptures, and portraits of Marilyn Monroe, using the medium of silk-screen printmaking to achieve his characteristic hard edges and flat areas of color. Known for his cultivation of celebrity, Factory studio (a radical social and creative melting pot), and avant-garde films like Chelsea Girls (1966), Warhol was also a mentor to artists like Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. His Pop sensibility is now standard practice, taken up by major contemporary artists Richard Prince, Takashi Murakami, and Jeff Koons, among countless others.
American, 1928-1987, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York
A Brief History of Flowers in Western Art
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A poet, musician, and graffiti prodigy in late-1970s New York, Jean-Michel Basquiat had honed his signature painting style of obsessive scribbling, elusive symbols and diagrams, and mask-and-skull imagery by the time he was 20. “I don’t think about art while I work,” he once said. “I think about life.” Basquiat drew his subjects from his own Caribbean heritage—his father was Haitian and his mother of Puerto Rican descent—and a convergence of African-American, African, and Aztec cultural histories with Classical themes and contemporary heroes like athletes and musicians. Often associated with Neo-expressionism, Basquiat received massive acclaim in only a few short years, showing alongside artists like Julian Schnabel, David Salle, and Francesco Clemente. In 1983, he met Andy Warhol, who would come to be a mentor and idol. The two collaborated on a series of paintings before Warhol’s death in 1987, followed by Basquiat’s own untimely passing a year later.
American, 1960-1988, New York, New York, based in New York, New York
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Bridging the gap between the art world and the street, Keith Haring rose to prominence in the early 1980s with his graffiti drawings made in the subways and on the sidewalks of New York City. Combining the appeal of cartoons with the raw energy of Art Brut artists like Jean DuBuffet, Haring developed a distinct pop-graffiti aesthetic centered on fluid, bold outlines against a dense, rhythmic overspread of imagery like that of babies, barking dogs, flying saucers, hearts, and Mickey Mouse. In his subway drawings and murals, Haring explored themes of exploitation, subjugation, drug abuse, and rising fears of nuclear holocaust, which became increasingly apocalyptic after his AIDS diagnosis. Alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kenny Scharf, and Jenny Holzer, Haring is regarded as a leading figure in New York East Village Art scene in the 1970s and '80s.
American, 1958-1990, Reading, Pennsylvania, based in New York, New York
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Muralist, painter, sculptor, and installation artist Kenny Scharf is best known for his fantastical, large-scale paintings of anthropomorphic animals and imagined creatures, as in Viva Mare Viva Mar (2011). Though Scharf’s brightly colored imagery is generally playful, he has remarked that darker themes exist beneath the surface of his works, visible upon closer inspection. Scharf was a part of the 1980s East Village Art movement, along with his good friend and fellow street artist Keith Haring. The artist says he has been influenced by all 20th-century art movements, including Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, the latter reflected in his appropriation of cartoon characters from television shows like the Flintstones and Jetsons and his humorous depiction of snack food in Maple Glazed Donut Over Fertile Landscape (2011). Scharf’s oftentimes dense and frenetic compositions also echo a Baroque sensibility.
American, b. 1958, Los Angeles, California
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